Sunday, March 28, 2010

Why I Can't Do Any Real Writing at the Bookstore

I'm writing this at Barnes & Noble on the back of a bank receipt because I didn't have the foresight to bring a notebook.  It took us about 10 minutes to get a table.  It's a rainy Sunday and of course they were all full. But it's ok, no rush, we are blissfully alone today while the kids are visiting my mom. Handsome Hubby went to get us coffee and I told him I wanted something chocolatey with a bunch of whipped cream.  I thought he meant coffee, and he came back with a Godiva double chocolate cheesecake with chocolate cookie crumb crust with two giant swirls of whipped cream.  Insanity on a plate.  AND coffee!  He treats me right. ;)

I went into the Teen section to look for some good reading (not sure why they don't call it Young Adult) and, man, is the current market saturated with vampires and werewolves and fallen angels.  While I was perusing the gorgeous covers, I overheard a mom in the Kids' section saying, "No, honey, you know  when we come here to read, we don't buy books."  :(  My heart broke for the little boy who liked his book so much he wanted to bring it home.  I know that not everyone can buy books whenever they want, and maybe the kid already has ten million books, and it's great that he got to come and read in a place that has everything.  But still.  Sad. 

So in the TEEN section, I picked up:


So, yeah, I'm probably the last person left in the YA world who hasn't read Hush, Hush yet.  I'm not a huge reader of vampires, zombies, or fallen angels, but I'll try anything that has a lot of good reviews.  So, Patch, we shall meet soon.  And Emily the Strange is just fabulous.  If you haven't checked out any of her series yet, you must. :)  In the adult section, I picked up:

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has been my all-time favorite book since third grade, the first time I really read it, and the same year I was in my very first play ever - also Alice in Wonderland. (I was the Cheshire Cat).  I'm a little obsessed, I admit.  I have always loved Alice and was disappointed in what Tim Burton did with it (I just saw it yesterday), but I kind of expected to be.  Anyway, I'm very interested in reading this historical fiction novel that deals with Alice Liddell and how the book and the man (Charles Dodgson) changed her life, how it became her (like it or not) identity... I've read some great reviews by some of you and am so looking forward to this one!

So, yeah... I'm sitting here at the table in B&N and I just saw one of my first graders but didn't say hello (don't judge me, it's the weekend). I had to add Splenda to my coffee and I spilled it on my lap, which won me the one napkin that HH found at the coffee station.  Speaking of the coffee station, someone up there at the counter just ordered a "molten turtle bundt".  What!?!?!  Does that sound outrageous or what?  I am so ordering that next time.  The people at the table behind me just stole someone else's chair when she got up to go find a book.  That girl is gonna be pissed. 

(At this point, we realized that my mom had called my cell and left a message saying that she had already left her house with my kids and was on her way to my house, so stream of consciousness bookstore chatter ended abruptly and the ravenous bookies circling the tables came in for the kill when we got up.  It was altogether a lovely, delicious, happy, read-y, time-with-hubby, fun bookstore visit.  But I spent half the time people watching and trying not to listen to the conversations of the people at the tables around us.  So you see why I can't do any real writing at the bookstore!)


Summer said...

I used to be a barista at the Borders' coffee shop and could never understand why so many law students came there to study. Not only is it *super* noisy to be over by the cafe, especially come blended-drink season, but there are so many people! And they all want your table with its convenient power outlet.

Good times, though, for me. :-)

That cheesecake looks awesome.

Jemi Fraser said...

We don't have any big bookstores here - just 2 small outlets. No reading sections or coffee shops in them. I'm jealous! :)

sarahjayne smythe said...

OMG! That cake looks incredible. Borders and cake and coffee and books. I'm jealous.

And you're not the only one who hasn't read Hush, Hush yet. I won the signed copy from Shannon and I'm waiting for it to arrive so I can read it, too. :)

storyqueen said...

Emily the Strange is the best!

I love that weird girl.


maybe genius said...

I haven't read Hush, Hush yet either. EEP. But it's on my to-buy list! Eventually. Someday. When I get through the dozen or so new books I've bought over the last few months.

Stephanie Thornton said...

Barnes & Noble is definitely my drug of choice. I'm not allowed to go back until I knock some books off my TBR shelf- I can't cram any more on it!

And I'm a sucker when my daughter wants a new book. We don't do a ton of toys, but she has oodles of books. That's a good thing, right?

Enjoy your new books!

Amie McCracken said...

Don't worry, I haven't read Hush Hush either so you're not the last person. (And it seems some other people here too, hee hee.)

Instead of writing you should listen to those conversations around you. Good inspiration usually. My play-writing professor in college said she goes to coffee shops just to listen to strange conversations and build characters off of them.

Wendy Ramer said...

I know, the bookstore seems the perfect place to write when actually it's a potpourri of people-watching, tasty treats, and book perusing. Have never had much writing there myself, especially since I can never find an outlet, so my laptop battery runs out before I can really get into the meat of things.

Lola Sharp said...

B&N is my favorite...the treats are YUMMY (the delicious aroma the second you walk in the door has me bee-lining straight to the cafe). The people watching is fun, and I totally DO eavesdrop on their conversations.
But I CAN write in the cafe...all the individual noises actually sort of cancel each other out into one big background buzz. Weekends are harder though, I do better on weekdays. But you definitely have to fight for the outlet spots, no matter the day/time. (they need more!)

Happy Monday!

Talli Roland said...

Oh, that photo of the cake made my stomach grumble!

I am *so* not a café writer. I tried to be because it just looked so cool, you know, sitting there with a coffee and laptop and tapping away. But I end up fidgeting, ordering one too many drinks, and spying on people. Not good.

Glynis said...

That sounded like a fun time for you and hubby. Your choc treat made me dribble and your coffee/reading venue made me envious. If I go to the local coffee shop it is full of Cypriot old men. LOL
I would people watch and call it character building. *grin*

Falen said...

i also have not read Hush, Hush yet... does that makeme a bad person?

SonshineMusic i.e. Rebecca T. said...

I've never understood the people that come to our cafe to study either. I could never write there.

But working in a bookstore should earn us readers hazard pay. It's like ASKING us to buy all our favorite books. My TBR pile is ever growing.

Anonymous said...

I could never do any writing at a book store either. Surrounded by all those books by authors who are infinitely better than me? Pfft, yeah, right. But it still sounds like a nice day! (And the cheesecake looks amazing.)

wolferiver said...

Like Lola, I CAN write in a coffee shop although I prefer a diner! I, too, like the background buzz, and it doesn't seem to bother my concentration. Every 15 or so minutes I can look up, look around and people watch for a bit, and then resume. (It's kinda like coming up for air occasionally.) Also, when I'm home alone I tend to start feeling sorry for myself, whereas out in a public place I feel a little bit more connected to the world around me. In college my favorite study place was at the student union cafeteria.

As I reflect on how weird I am about this, it also occurs to me that I actually have MORE distractions at home (food, my TV, laundry, organizing the sock drawer, cleaning out old financial papers, cataloging my DVDs, etc.) than I do at some diner.

Palindrome said...

falen- if you want to read it, I have an ARC. I didn't like it.

I haven't been to the Barne in a few months but I worked there for over 11 years so it's my right to avoid it. I would like to have some of that cake tho. Oh, have you had their pumpkin cheesecake?! It's seasonal and delicious.

the turtle bundt is awesome.

I can't do any real writing there either, I know to many people...i spend the whole time playing catch-up.